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THE AESCHYLEAN STING IN WASPS’ TALE: ARISTOPHANES’ ENGAGEMENT WITH THE ORESTEIA

Wyles, Rosie (2019) THE AESCHYLEAN STING IN WASPS’ TALE: ARISTOPHANES’ ENGAGEMENT WITH THE ORESTEIA. The Classical Quarterly, . ISSN 0009-8388. E-ISSN 1471-6844. (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Two important elements to Aristophanes’ interplay with tragedy in Wasps have been overlooked in scholarship: his sustained engagement with the Oresteia and his use of costume to comment on Aeschylus’ work. The systematic consideration of Wasps’ allusions to Agamemnon and Eumenides in the scenes running up to, and including, the trial establishes the significance of this Aeschylean intertext for the appreciation of the ongoing competition between the comic and tragic genre in this comedy. It also highlights the special status of this tragic interaction, in which the first and last play of a connected trilogy are referenced simultaneously with a destabilizing effect on the original. The second part of the article argues that Aristophanes exploits references to both Agamemnon and Eumenides in the cloak scene (Wasps 1122–264) and uses them to criticize Aeschylus’ dramaturgy, invite a negative reading of Bdelycleon’s ideological stance and reinforce the play’s pessimistic view of the Athenian law courts. This article offers an original contribution to the scholarship on Wasps enhancing our understanding of the play’s relationship with tragedy and its use of costume.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Aeschylus Aristophanes interperformative Wasps Oresteia
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theatre
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Rosie Wyles
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2019 09:09 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 10:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/75766 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wyles, Rosie: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5666-7416
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